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Archive for the ‘Seymour Hersh’ Category

Seymour Hersh: Secret U.S. Forces Carried Out Assassinations in ‘a Lot of’ Countries, Including in Latin America

By Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!. Posted March 31, 2009.

The investigative journalist for The New Yorker explains his recent bombshell revelation about Dick Cheney’s “executive assassination” squads.

Amy Goodman: Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh created a stir last month when he said the Bush administration ran an executive assassination ring that reported directly to Vice President Dick Cheney. Hersh made the comment during a speech at the University of Minnesota on March 10th.

Seymour Hersh: Congress has no oversight of it. It’s an executive assassination wing, essentially. And it’s been going on and on and on. And just today in the Times there was a story saying that its leader, a three-star admiral named McRaven, ordered a stop to certain activities because there were so many collateral deaths. It’s been going in — under President Bush’s authority, they’ve been going into countries, not talking to the ambassador or to the CIA station chief, and finding people on a list and executing them and leaving.

Amy Goodman: Yesterday, CNN interviewed Dick Cheney’s former national security adviser, John Hannah. Wolf Blitzer asked Hannah about Sy Hersh’s claim.

Wolf Blitzer: Is there a list of terrorists, suspected terrorists out there who can be assassinated?

John Hannah: There is clearly a group of people that go through a very extremely well-vetted process, inter-agency process, as I think was explained in your piece, that have committed acts of war against the United States, who are at war with the United States, or are suspected of planning operations of war against the United States, who authority is given to the troops in the field and in certain war theaters to capture or kill those individuals. That is certainly true.

Wolf Blitzer: And so, this would be, and from your perspective — and you worked in the Bush administration for many year– it would be totally constitutional, totally legal, to go out and find these guys and to whack ’em.

John Hannah: There’s no question that in a theater of war, when we are at war, and we know — there’s no doubt, we are still at war against al-Qaeda in Iraq, al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and on that Pakistani border, that our troops have the authority to go after and capture and kill the enemy, including the leadership of the enemy.

Amy Goodman: That’s John Hannah, Dick Cheney’s former national security adviser. Seymour Hersh joins me now here in Washington, D.C., staff writer for The New Yorker magazine. His latest article appears in the current issue, called “Syria Calling: The Obama Administration’s Chance to Engage in a Middle East Peace.”

OK, welcome to Democracy Now!, Sy Hersh. It was good to see you last night at Georgetown. Talk about, first, these comments you made at the University of Minnesota.

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O’Reilly: If Cheney had ‘an assassination squad,’ he would have killed Seymour Hersh ‘a long time ago.’

Think Progress- By Matt Corley at 10:34 am

During a speech at the University of Minnesota last week, investigative reporter Seymour Hersh claimed that the Bush administration had employed “an executive assassination ring” that “reported directly to the Cheney office.” In an Boston Herald op-ed today, Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly mocked Hersh’s claim, saying “If Cheney really had such a crew,” reporters like Hersh would have already been killed:

The other day, left-wing muckraker Seymour Hersh went on MSNBC and said he had information, provided by the usual anonymous sources, that Dick Cheney was running an assassination squad out of the White House.

I have but one simple observation: If Cheney really had such a crew, Hersh would have been dead a long time ago, and so would most everybody at MSNBC.

Update– At Newsbusters, Noel Sheppard calls O’Reilly’s column “fabulous” and “delicious,” writing that he expects “O’Reilly to take a great deal of heat for his opening quip concerning Hersh and MSNBC, and for me to similarly be defamed by all manner of left-wing shill for having the nerve to repeat it.”

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Kucinich requests investigation into ‘executive assassination ring’

Raw Story- John Byrne
Published: Monday March 16, 2009

After comments made by a New Yorker journalist about Vice President Dick Cheney’s alleged involvement in a “executive assassination ring” abroad, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) called Monday for a formal congressional probe.

Kucinich’s call was concomitant with a letter he sent to House Oversight Chairman Edolphus Towns.

Describing the allegation, Kucinich writes, “Mr. Hersh made the allegation before an audience at the University of Minnesota on Tuesday, March 10, 2009” in which “he stated, ‘Under President Bush’s authority, they’ve been going into countries, not talking to the ambassador or the CIA station chief, and finding people on a list and executing them and leaving. It is a special wing of our special operations community that is set up independently. They do not report to anybody, except in the Bush-Cheney days, they reported directly to the Cheney office… Congress has no oversight of it.'”

Hersh’s claim is detailed here in an earlier piece by Raw Story.

“If true, these operations violate longstanding U.S. policy regarding covert actions and illegally bypass Congressional oversight,” Kucinich adds. “Hersh is within a year or more of releasing a book that is said to include evidence of this allegation. However, we cannot wait a year or more to establish the truth.”

The 62-year-old lawmaker and former Democratic presidential candidate is known for his bold and liberal moves. In April 2007, he filed an impeachment resolution against Vice President Cheney over manipulating evidence about Iraq’s weapons program prior to the US invasion. The measure was blocked by the Democratic leadership. He also presented articles of impeachment against President George W. Bush in June 2008, but that effort again went nowhere.

Hersh, the New Yorker journalist who made the claim, also revealed US preparations for a possible Iran strike that was later sidelined, and is also known for revealing the My Lai massacre during Vietnam.


The full text of Kucinich’s letter follows: HERE

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John Dean: Cheney is guilty of ‘murder’ if Hersh claims are true

Raw Story- David Edwards and Rachel Oswald
Published: Friday March 13, 2009

Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh’s bombshell earlier this week that Vice President Dick Cheney controlled an “executive assassination ring” continues to reverberate throughout Washington, with Nixon aide John Dean going so far as to accuse the former VP of murder if the charges are true.

MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann visited the issue on his show Countdown Thursday night where he discussed the legal implications of Hersh’s allegations with Dean, who was White House legal counsel under President Richard Nixon.

“It’s potentially a war crime,” Dean said of the reported assassination ring. “It’s potentially just outright murder and it’s clearly in violation of the Ford Executive Order.”

Hersh told the students at the University of Minnesota on Tuesday that the assassination squad was “a special wing of our special operations community that is set up independently. In the Bush-Cheney Days, they reported directly to the Cheney, Cheney office. They do not report to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff or to Mr. Gates, the secretary of defense. They report directly to him. Congress has no oversight of it. It’s an executive assassination ring, essentially.”

VIDEO AND MORE HERE

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REUTERS/Fadi Al-Assaad
Journalist Seymour Hersh speaking in Doha at an Al Jazeera forum on the media in 2007.

Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh describes ‘executive assassination ring’

By Eric Black | Published Wed, Mar 11 2009 11:17 am

At a “Great Conversations” event at the University of Minnesota last night, legendary investigative reporter Seymour Hersh may have made a little more news than he intended by talking about new alleged instances of domestic spying by the CIA, and about an ongoing covert military operation that he called an “executive assassination ring.”

Hersh spoke with great confidence about these findings from his current reporting, which he hasn’t written about yet.

In an email exchange afterward, Hersh said that his statements were “an honest response to a question” from the event’s moderator, U of M Political Scientist Larry Jacobs and “not something I wanted to dwell about in public.”

Hersh didn’t take back the statements, which he said arise from reporting he is doing for a book, but that it might be a year or two before he has what he needs on the topic to be “effective…that is, empirical, for even the most skeptical.”

The evening of great conversation, featuring Walter Mondale and Hersh, moderated by Jacobs and titled “America’s Constitutional Crisis,” looked to be a mostly historical review of events that have tested our Constitution, by a journalist and a high government officials who had experience with many of the crises.

And it was mostly historical, and a great conversation, in which Hersh and Mondale talked about the patterns by which presidents seem to get intoxicated by executive power, frustrated by the limitations on that power from Congress and the public, drawn into improper covert actions that exceed their constitutional powers, in the belief that they can get results and will never be found out. Despite a few references to the Founding Fathers, the history was mostly recent, starting with the Vietnam War with much of it arising from the George W. Bush administration, which both men roundly denounced.

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